Monthly Archives: December 2014

on being real and genuine. and not stupid.

I know it’s been quiet around here.

It’s been intentional. Kind of.

I can’t really write what I feel lately. I’m feeling things too much, too raw, to write it out because then I’ll probably share way more than any of you are paid to read since you’re not my therapist.

I’m struggling with this stage of life that I’ve been in for too long. And there’s no “light at the end of the tunnel” moment in sight. Life is hard and I’m trying hard to live it rather than be stuck in it. But that’s hard too.

But I also want to maintain some balance here. Not only complain, but encourage too. That’s why I started writing: because it helps me and because I hope it’ll help you. But sometimes I write and don’t publish because it’s just to help me and those “letters” (because they’re more like letters than posts) aren’t really meant for anyone else to see. I imagine they might help someone but they’re too personal to share for the other 99% of you that it won’t help.

I kinda just want to live in one of two fantasy worlds right now. One would look like this.Fantasy World One

My family would live right on the canal in downtown Indy. The canal would be our backyard. The kids could just go feed the ducks and ride their bikes around the canal at anytime. It’d be perfectly safe with no strangers and the kids would never fall in the canal because this is my fantasy world.

My other fantasy world would be me with no kids. It’s okay. Pick up your chin and let me explain. Of course I love my kids and I wouldn’t ACTUALLY want them gone. It’s just that I’m tired. Physically and emotionally. Having four kids (which I totally understand how it happened thank you and that I’m blessed and that I’ll look back on this time and miss it) is kind of wiping me out right now. They’ve been sick and mouthy and sick again and again. Until the end of last week, I was having several really horrible tension headaches every single day for over three weeks. And I still had to parent my kids. There are no breaks when you’re a mom. None.

See? This is why I haven’t written. Because I’m not sure this will encourage anyone. Pregnant? Well don’t read this. I’m sure I could do the same with marriage. In love? Engaged? Well if I write about marriage at this point you won’t want to read that either.

Here’s the thing. I obviously wouldn’t want my life without my kids or my husband. But sometimes it would just be nice to be alone and have NO responsibilities. (Or someone to do them all for you at the very least. Like a husband that was also a maid, cook and nanny.)  To just run away for awhile and only take care of myself.

So what have I been doing the last two days to combat this inner crap running around in my head? Listening to Lead Me To The Cross (I prefer the version by Francesca Battistelli). This is the part that I’ve been hearing the loudest right now:

lead me to the cross
where your love poured out. 
bring me to my knees, 
lord I lay me down.
rid me of myself,
I belong to you.
lord lead me, lead me to the cross

This might not be your thing. And that’s totally ok. All I ask is that if you find yourself feeling stuck or lonely or uncared for (I don’t even think “uncared” is a word but I don’t care), don’t do something stupid. Don’t do something that’ll keep you stuck. Talk to a supportive friend, not one who will pull you down farther. Get off Facebook if you’re lonely and it’s making it worse or connecting you with someone you shouldn’t be connecting with. Write. Write and throw away your thoughts. It helps me. (Most of the time at least.)

I don’t know the point of this post. I’m not sure I started out writing this to actually publish it. I just wanted to keep it real I guess. To *not* write right now would feel less genuine than writing a crap happy holidays post.

Anyways, don’t do something stupid. And be real and genuine. That is all.

Winter Woven review

One of my favorite local Indianapolis artists is Kyle Ragsdale. We have two “Kyles” (as we like to call them) hanging in our home. So last month when I saw that he was the artist for a new children’s book I was PSYCHED.

The book is called Winter Woven and is about a nine year-old girl who receives a scarf as a gift and loses it.Winter Woven cover

The touching and vivid story about loss and a desperate search is written for an older child (8+ through adulthood) but even those younger will be drawn in by the amazing oil paintings gracing the pages of the book.

Winter Woven example

As you can see above, the words are even illustrated, lending wonderful ways of changing tone and rhythm while reading.

Winter Woven beautyI’ll be honest – I love this book mainly because of the scenes captured by Kyle. And of course, the scenes couldn’t be created without the lovely story written by local author Garrett Curry. Simply the fact that two local artists, one of painting and one of words, collaborated to create this book makes me love it even more.

You can purchase this gorgeous 11×11, 32-page, hard-back book on Etsy for $24.99. Go! Buy it now for your kids for Christmas! It’ll be a beautiful addition to your bookshelf or coffee table and you’ll be supporting local artists. There’s not much better than that.

 

Disclosure: I received a digital version of this storybook to write this review and will receive a hard copy as well. As always, ALL opinions written here are my own and are only influenced by my deep love for the work of Kyle Ragsdale. 🙂

 

Fresh Artistry Review

Sometimes I plan dinner for the week, go to the grocery and actually make what I plan.

Sometimes my son locks himself in my bedroom while I’m getting ready for work. And because our house is over 100 years old and still has the original doors which only lock from the inside, it’s cheaper to saw holes in the walls between closets to get him out (and get in to unlock the door) than it is to ruin a $400 door.Lucas in the wall

On those days, dinner doesn’t get planned. The meat doesn’t get taken out of the freezer. The 13 ingredients to make a nice, fresh dinner don’t get prepped. And we end up eating chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.

This is where Super Man should come flying in to save dinner with a great fresh meal ready for me to make.

But wait! That’s not Super Man! It’s Fresh Artistry!

What is Fresh Artistry? Fresh Artistry is a service that delivers locally designed recipes and fresh, proportioned ingredients to your home. Fresh Artistry helps you make chef-grade meals for your family without the hassle.

It’s pretty smart (and amazing) actually. You choose a meal (up to 3 per week) from their 7-recipe menu online and they deliver ALL THE INGREDIENTS to your door. And not just the ingredients, but measured and packaged separately with complete and SIMPLE instructions included. If you can read and follow a recipe, you can’t mess this up. It is SO CONVENIENT. And delicious.Fresh Artistry Ingredients

We were able to test out the service for a meal. We got the Peach-Chipotle Glazed Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans. I was a little nervous about the glaze since my husband and half of my kids are pretty picky eaters. The meal was delivered to me the same day is was packed in a box with an insulated liner and ice packs. The ingredients were fresh and pre-measured for an easy and quick prep before cooking. Since the recipes are tested extensively and focused on short start-to-finish times, it was a breeze to follow and cook. Simply eliminating the shopping and prepping for a chef-grade meal made me feel like I could cook a fresh, local and delicious meal even on busy nights.

Even better? MY WHOLE FAMILY LOVED IT. Even picky Adam, who doesn’t like peach anything, asked for more of the glaze (which I put on the side just in case because of my family’s tastes). He actually even said he’d consider PAYING for the service! (If you know my husband AT ALL, you know this is a HUGE statement.)Fresh Artistry Meal

The website says the family plans should feed 2 adults and 2-3 kids, but it fed my whole family (2 adults and 4 kids ages 12 to 1.5), which will cost you about $30 per meal. They also have smaller plate plans for smaller households (which run about $20 per meal) and delivery is free for either plan.

Fresh Artistry is fully launching it’s services TOMORROW, Friday 12/5. I encourage you to try it out. Because I already make most of our meals from fresh, local ingredients, we probably won’t use the service regularly because of our budget, but we’ll definitely do it again. One of the things I loved is that my kids all wanted to try it – which is CRAAAAZY because usually when I make new things NO ONE wants to even taste it, but because this was kind of like getting carry-out (just cooked at home) my kids thought it was like eating restaurant food. Which apparently changes whether or not they even TRY new foods. (Whatever.)

Go here www.freshartistry.com/faq to read more about the company, how it got started and some details I haven’t included here. And give it a shot. I think you’ll be extremely pleased. And you’ll be supporting a local business which always a plus.